Apr 2, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kendall Marshall (12), forward Jordan Hill (27) and forward Ryan Kelly (4) as a time out is called against the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 107-102. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers: Can Ryan Kelly Be An X-Factor Next Season?

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Ryan Kelly showed a lot of promise in the second half of the NBA season last year for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kelly started off real slow in the beginning of the year. Kelly last season averaged just a little around 8.0 points per game. Not bad and not too good for a rookie. Kelly committed to Duke after he finished playing for Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina. While playing in his freshman season for the Blue Devils, Kelly was a backup to Kyle Singler and only played 35 games. In those 35 games he averaged around 1.2 points per game.

During his sophomore season he saw his numbers and games played rise — Kelly averaged 6.6. points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in the 37 games he played. Junior year rolled around and Kelly once again saw his number rise with 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. Ryan Kelly finished at Duke averaging 12.9 points, 1.6 blocks, and 5.3 rebounds.

What I’m trying to prove with these stats is that Ryan Kelly can develop and be an even better player then he was last year with the Lakers. Kelly is a stretch power forward, meaning that he can space out the floor. The system that Mike D’Antoni mapped out actually benefited Ryan Kelly, because it was run and gun. Run up the court — and shoot.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Ryan Kelly develops around new head coach Byron Scott. Scott’s system is deprived on pick and roll offense, revolving around a guard and a forward. In order to see Kelly’s full potential he needs to play more minutes.

To be modest, Kelly can average around 11.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks next season if he wants to and stays healthy. Key word in that sentence is stay healthy.

Something the Lakers team has been having trouble in the past couple of seasons.

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Tags: Los Angeles Lakers NBA NBA Offseason Ryan Kelly

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